The disrespectful, unpatriotic frat-boys who spit on some of our wounded warriors, threw beer cans at them, and urinated on an American flag last week at Panama City Beach, Florida have been expelled from their fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau at the University of Florida. Expulsion is certainly appropriate but it’s hardly enough. In fact, compared with what they did expulsion from a fraternity is just slap on the wrist when a well-placed kick in the pants is called for. I doubt that these anti-American cowards who abused our wounded veterans will ever receive the punishment they really deserve—a punishment I would like to personally administer, as would several other veterans I know.
Since giving these spoiled frat-boys the punishment they truly deserve would probably upset the timid sensibilities of university administrators, let me suggest an alternative plan. These self-important young fools who think drinking beer makes them a man should be expelled from the University of Florida, drafted into the Marine Corps, and made to endure the soul-testing crucible that is boot camp at Parris Island. Of course, the Marine Corps does not draft recruits but perhaps we could make an exception in this case. Following the requisite infantry training, the ZBT frat-boys should be deployed immediately to Afghanistan and required to go in harm’s way. Let them endure what the wounded veterans they chose to spit on and taunt have endured, then let’s see how they feel about the military and the American flag.
If it sounds as if I am angry—it’s because I am. I waited several days before writing this column to give my anger time to subside, but it hasn’t subsided and it’s not going to—not on this issue. It’s not a good idea to write an article when angry, but I am going to break that rule in this case. After all, it is not likely I will regret anything I say about the ZBT frat-brats who ruined what should have been an enjoyable and well-deserved vacation for some American heroes. Think about the irony of this situation. The spoiled brats who spit on our wounded veterans were doing nothing more dangerous than loafing around their frat house and having keg parties when the wounded veterans in question were putting their lives on the line and nearly losing their lives to defend the freedom of students to get a college education. Instead of showing these veterans the respect and appreciation they deserve, these shallow, vacuous, air-headed frat-boys chose to desecrate the American flag and abuse combat-wounded veterans.
It has become popular for those of us who served in the military to respond to these instances of disrespect by saying: “I don’t agree with what they said (or did) but I will fight to the death to defend their right to say it.” Well, guess what. Not this time. I wouldn’t lift a finger to defend the rights of low-life scoundrels who abuse wounded veterans. As far as I am concerned they don’t deserve the air they breathe, nor have they done anything to deserve the rights they take for granted. It is self-important, spoiled brats like these disrespectful college students who make me think that universal military service should be reinstated. The absence of the draft has turned America’s youth into a nation of selfish, narcissistic twits whose motto is “it’s all about me” and who think serving our country is something someone else should do.
That’s enough about a bunch of spoiled fraternity brats who can’t hold their liquor. I have stated in no uncertain terms how they should be dealt with and have offered to help. But there is another aspect of this incident that needs to be explored that is even more offensive to me and other veterans than what a bunch of stupid, immature college students did. That aspect is the complicity of public education (K-12) as well as colleges and universities in what happened. Since the 1960s, the public education system in America at all levels has become a hostile environment for the military as well as young people who still hold to traditional American values. Chances are the mushy-headed morons who have just been expelled from Zeta Beta Tau were educated (make that brain washed) in public school into thinking that America is a war-mongering country and those who serve in the military are nothing but criminals in uniforms. This perspective was certainly reinforced when they matriculated at the University of Florida.
- Kent Fuchs, president of the University of Florida, sent a personal apology to the wounded warriors who were abused by his students that read: “I can only imagine the pain and indignity of enduring this behavior. I want to assure you that it is not representative of our students or our university and we will make every effort to learn more, to take appropriate action and prevent similar incidents from occurring again.” Nice sentiment Mr. President and you probably even mean what you wrote, but I doubt you really understand the problem.
If the administration of the University of Florida is really interested in taking “appropriate action” to “prevent similar incidents from occurring again” the first thing it needs to do is review the attitudes of its professors and the content of its curriculum concerning America in general and the military in particular. Surely President Fuchs understands that his faculty is riddled with former draft dodgers who spent the 1960s protesting the Viet Nam War—at least until President Nixon eliminated the draft ensuring they would not have to serve in the military. When the draft went away, so did the anti-war protests on college campuses. Funny how that worked.
When college professors teach that America is a war-mongering, imperialist nation and that those who serve in the military are criminals in uniform, what does he think a bunch of mushy-headed fraternity boys who have already been subjected to 12 years of anti-American, anti-military propaganda are going to believe? When history professors hold up Angela Davis and H. Rap Brown as heroes while vilifying or simply ignoring such stalwarts as George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and George H.W. Bush; real heroes who served our country in uniform and out, what does he think a bunch of sheep-like college students are going to learn?
If all President Fuchs of the University of Florida does is send a letter of apology to the wounded warriors who were abused by his students, he has done nothing. His letter probably gets the university off the hook by disassociating it from the actions of the ZBT frat boys, but good public relations strategy is not necessarily good leadership. If he really wants to show some leadership and take the “appropriate action” he promised, President Fuchs is going to have to force the administration, faculty, and staff of the University of Florida to take a good long look in the mirror and do some real soul searching. They might start the process by asking, “What have we done to promote or encourage such an attitude in our students toward America’s military heroes?”